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Periodontal Therapy in Ann Arbor

Gum disease is the single most prevalent disease in America, affecting about 80 percent of the adult population to some degree. More often than not, gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can be attributed to insufficient oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, along with your regularly scheduled dental cleanings at your dentist in Ann Arbor, go a long way toward preventing periodontal disease.

When you brush your teeth, you wash away plaque that has accumulated throughout the day. Plaque is a biofilm that consists of saliva, particles of food and bacteria. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line. If plaque is not removed, then the bacteria can begin to attack your gum tissue.

Phases of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and periodontitis is a more advanced form of the disease. At first, you may notice that your gums are slightly swollen and reddened. They may also bleed when you brush and floss. As the condition continues to worsen and becomes periodontitis, gums begin to recede from your teeth, allowing pockets of bacteria to form. These bacteria can destroy gum tissue and the underlying bone structure that holds your teeth in place. Furthermore, research has shown that gum disease may be linked to a number of systemic health problems, including hypertension, stroke and heart disease; osteoporosis; depression; and pregnancy complications.

Gum Disease Therapy in Ann Arbor

At the dental office of Dr. James Olsen, we can use a diode laser for periodontal therapy procedures that fight gum disease. This treatment removes and reduces some periodontal infection. Laser periodontal therapy promotes reattachment of gum tissue to teeth, providing precise and conservative treatment. Because dental lasers promote comfort, some patients have found they don't even need anesthesia during laser gum disease treatment.

We may also use scaling and root planing to treat gum disease. During this procedure, plaque and tartar are completely erased from the surfaces of your teeth, particularly along the gum line. Tartar is a yellowish or brownish substance that develops when plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth for a longer period of time. And while you can remove plaque on your own with daily brushing and flossing, tartar requires professional cleaning. Our dental hygienists use special hand instruments called scrapers and curettes. Using these they remove hardened tartar and smooth the surfaces of your teeth, so plaque and tartar are both less likely to adhere.

In addition, Dr. Olsen may prescribe a topical antibiotic as part of your gum disease therapy in Ann Arbor. The antibiotic is long acting and helps to ensure the complete eradication of bacteria that led to gum disease in the first place. The treatment that will work best for you depends entirely on the progression of your periodontal disease and your overall health condition.

Once you've received periodontal therapy in our Ann Arbor dental office, we encourage you to visit more frequently for hygiene and checkups in order to keep this bacterial infection in check.

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